Kristen Bell talking about shark tagging with the Hammerschlagies on Leno

[vimeo][/vimeo] Go here for more info about shark expert Dr. Neil Hammerschlag’s shark tagging program. 

North Carolina sea level rise assessment report

The North Carolina Sea-Level Rise Assessment Report prepared by the  N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s Science Panel on Coastal Hazards was published in March 2010. The report immediately attracted the attention of real estate investors and coastal development lobbying groups like “NC 20” that responded with anti-science propaganda like this (PDF). These groups successfully lobbied the state legislature to declare that coastal communities should […]

Blue carbon with Jim Toomey

A nice video about Blue Carbon from Sherman’s Lagoon cartoonist Jim Toomey: [youtube][/youtube]   And another from non-cartoonist John Bruno: [vimeo][/vimeo]

Arctic sea ice still loosing ground

Iv’e be following trends in arctic sea ice more than is probably healthy (or normal) since I worked on Hudson Bay with Polar Bears International last November. The graphics say it all. Read more about this here, here, and here.  

The NC sea level rise saga: reply to Dave Burton

Dave Burton of NC 20 published a reply here to recent post I did about natural and human-caused sea level rise, “Sea Level Rise 101“. This is a reply to his post and a clarification of some of his many misconceptions about sea level rise science. I want to start by saying that my interests in the NC […]

Top ten lionfish facts

From Death to lionfish 10 What’s with the name, lionfish?  Nobody knows for sure how they got their name, but when they spread out their pectoral fins it sort of looks like a lion’s mane.  And they are ferocious predators. The scientific name for the species is Pterois volitans (pronounced, Tare-oh-ease vol-eh-tawns). Pterois = wing or fin, from […]

Biodiversity and the battle for Planet Earth: The graphic novel

[Editor’s note: It’s been a big month for the science of biodiversity and an exciting time to be a part of it. Last week, Nature came out with its issue commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Rio meeting that first put biodiversity on the world’s radar screen and spawned the Convention on Biological Diversity. The […]

The NC sea level rise saga: mid-week update

This story is moving rapidly – sadly mostly in the wrong direction. • The NC senate passed a slightly modified version of the houses bill Tuesday. The senates version states “rates shall only be determined using historical data, and these data shall be limited to the time period following the year 1900. Rates of sea-level rise may be […]

Marine reserves gather steam

This is a nice piece in the WaPost by the wonderful Juliet Eilperin about two new Marine Protected Area networks. One inaccuracy is that the piece conflates marine reserves and Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Marine reserves are a sub-category of MPA in which no extraction or other harmful activities are allowed. I also remain very concerned about […]

Sea level rise 101

Based on the NC legislature’s decree about the science of sea level rise projections and some of the related propaganda we have seen from climate change deniers, I get the sense there is a lot of confusion about sea level rise. So here is a primer on what we know about sea level and climate […]

Coral microbes – the movie!


The state’s sea level retreat

This op-ed piece about the politics and reality of sea level rise in North Carolina was published on February 23, 2012 in the News&Observer. The author, Dr. Orrin H. Pilkey, is James B. Duke professor emeritus of earth sciences at Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment. He is one of the regions most respected coastal […]

The human fingerprint on ocean warming

New research published in Nature Climate Change (Gleckler  et al. 2012) increases our certainty about the patterns and causes of ocean warming. Abstract: Large-scale increases in upper-ocean temperatures are evident in observational records1. Several studies have used well-established detection and attribution methods to demonstrate that the observed basin-scale temperature changes are consistent with model responses to anthropogenic […]

Virginia legislature also in denial about “left-wing” sea level rise

Back at you Emmett. (You really wanna debate who lives in the state more unfriendly to climate science?) From Climate Progress: Virginia’s legislature commissioned a $50,000 study to determine the impacts of climate change on the state’s shores.To greenlight the project, they omitted words like “climate change” and “sea level rise” from the study’s description itself. According to […]

Giant bull shark surprises team Hammerschlag

Check out the piece by Andrea Mustain for Our Amazing Planet about my colleague, shark expert Dr. Neil Hammerschlag’s encounter with a big bull shark. Funny, but I was SUPing at the Cape Hatteras lighthouse yesterday and a fishing boat pulled up and the captain yelled “look out – we just saw a ten foot bull shark”. I […]

Epic swell hits Cloudbreak

An epic code-red swell hit Cloudbreak, Fiji yesterday right in the middle of the Volcom Fiji Pro surf contest. After two heats, contest organizers called it quits and opened up one of the world’s great reef breaks for the free surfers to shred. Read more about it here and here and here to watch footage of […]

How biodiversity loss is like LeBron James and Miami Heat

This is a repost from Climate Central by Michael D. Lemonick. Ecologists have been saying for decades now that the world is in the midst of a biodiversity crisis. Hundreds of species are vanishing every year, thanks to assaults to the environment that include deforestation, overfishing, toxic pollution and, increasingly, climate change — the lethal icing […]

Sea level rise, one more frontier for climate dialogue controversy

Below is a repost of a piece by my UNC colleague Sarah Peach from the Yale Forum. It provides a bit of context about the struggles among scientists, developers, policy makers, and communities over formulating plans for dealing with climate change and sea level rise in a state blessed with so much wonderful shoreline.   […]

Colbert’s take on the North Carolina sea level rise (isn’t happening) bill

The Colbert Report Get More: href=””>Video Archive

Why are lionfish populations exploding across the Caribbean?

Lionfish are an exotic fish now found throughout the Greater Caribbean and eastern Atlantic that have become incredibly abundant on many reefs, especially in the Bahamas and off North Carolina. Lionfish are a piscivore (a fish that eats other fish) and were introduced from the Indo-Pacific by the aquarium trade in the late 1990s off Florida. Mostly likely, […]

How does trophic skewing affect the functioning of marine communities?

My former PhD student Dr Pamela Reynolds and I just published a paper in PLoS One* that attempts to address this question. Trophic skew is an ecological term that describes changes in the relative number of species at different tropic levels, i.e., “species richness“.  In most natural food webs, there are more species at the […]

Lying liar Bob Carter is at it again

Here we go again. Our old friend Dr Bob Carter – climate change denier extraordinaire – is back at it; making counter-factual claims about climate change in another newspaper.  Bob is reported to be paid nearly $2000 a month by the Heartland Institute to sow confusion about greenhouse gases and global warming. Read more about this […]

Corals and their housekeeping mutualists or the importance of having a diverse group of friends

This is a guest post by Dr Adrian Stier Coral reefs are among the most species rich ecosystems on earth, but what most people don’t know is that the majority of reef biodiversity is housed inside the reef. Indeed, in the South Pacific, a coral the size of a basketball can house over 50 different […]

Waimea River: How to make waves